The Poet (film)
|Directed by||Damian Lee|
|Produced by||Lowell Conn
|Written by||Jack Crystal|
|Music by||Zion Lee
|Edited by||Joseph Weadick|
Noble House Film & Television
|Distributed by||Image Entertainment (USA)
American World Pictures (AWP) (non-USA)
The Poet is a 2007 Canadian drama film starring Nina Dobrev, Colm Feore, Roy Scheider, Kim Coates and Daryl Hannah. It was written by Jack Crystal and directed by Damian Lee, with an estimated budget of CAD $11 million. It was released in the United States as Hearts of War.
Rachel, a young Jewish woman (Nina Dobrev) headed home runs into a snow storm and falls unconscious only to be rescued by Oscar Koenig (Jonathan Scarfe), an undercover German officer stationed in Poland. Over the next few days, Oscar nurses Rachel back to health and in the process the two fall in love, bonding over the poetry that Oscar writes. Meanwhile, German soldiers infiltrate Poland and destroy Rachel's village, killing Rachel's family. Oscar helps Rachel and Rachel's fiancé, Bernard (Zachary Bennett), escape into the woods, but he refuses to accompany them, despite Rachel's pleas. Oscar goes back to his daily routine, scouting for his father, General Koenig (Kim Coates), whom Oscar has a rough relationship because of their differing opinions on the war. Oscar seeks comfort in his memories of Rachel, and in his mother (Daryl Hannah), who shares his disenchantment with the war, and encourages him to search for his lost love.
Bernard and Rachel escape into the mountains, when an unknown illness overtakes Rachel. They find a farm that is hiding other Jews, and discover that Rachel is pregnant with Oscar's child. Regardless of the situation that he's been placed in, Bernard marries Rachel anyway. On the day of their wedding, hidden in the basement of the farmhouse, German soldiers attack and kill everyone inside but Bernard and Rachel somehow escape and head once more into the woods.
Soon Oscar is sent to the Russian border that is occupied by the Germans, along the road Oscar, Bernard and Rachel unknowingly cross paths, and Rachel delivers the baby in the woods. Rachel and Bernard reach the German camp at the border before Oscar, and pick up jobs, Bernard helps clean up the camp and Rachel becomes a singer/prostitute, trying to survive the war. Meanwhile, Oscar has been fighting the Russian partisans, trying to get to the camp. When he arrives in the camp and reunites with Rachel and she tells him about their son, and Oscar begs her to leave with him and they can start and make a new life with their son, Rachel leaves him to retrieve their son. In the meantime Bernard, playing chess in their tent with a German soldier when he is called out to clean and another German soldier takes his place in the game but he loses because he cannot concentrate with the baby crying. In frustration at losing, he lashes out at the baby, killing him, then flees. Rachel return to the tent a few moments after Bernard and they find the baby dead, they attack and kill the German soldier and flee the camp without telling Oscar. They run into the Russian partisans that Oscar had fought earlier, with Oscar in pursuit. Oscar captures one of the Russian partisans and Rachel and Bernard are recruited to kill Oscar. Seeing that it's Oscar, Bernard tells Rachel to run to him despite what the Russians do, and Bernard attacks them while Rachel runs to Oscar. Bernard dies in the process and Oscar kills the others. Rachel and Oscar are reunited once more, and Oscar promises to take care of Rachel as Bernard dies. The film ends with Rachel and Oscar grieving over Bernard's body.
- Jonathan Scarfe as Oscar Koenig
- Nina Dobrev as Rachel
- Zachary Bennett as Bernard
- Kim Coates as General Koenig
- Colm Feore as Colonel Hass
- Roy Scheider as Rabbi
- Daryl Hannah as Marlene Koenig
- Miriam McDonald as Willa
The Poet received generally poor reviews. Jay Seaver of eFilmCritic said "You're not supposed to laugh at movies like "The Poet" [...] Once the audience is snickering, you've failed. [...] The story [...] is supposed to be grand and tragic". Similarly, Steve Power of DVD Verdict concluded "There are much better films out there that cover similar ground, and Hearts of War is best avoided."
- "Box office / business for The Poet (2007)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
- "Release dates for The Poet (2007)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
- Seaver, Jay (2007-07-28). "Poet, The". Efilmcritic.com. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
- The Image Entertainment DVD excerpts this eFilmCritic review as "A Grand and Tragic Story!"
- Power, Steve (2009-05-07). "DVD Verdict Review — Hearts of War". DVDVerdict.com. Retrieved 2009-07-06.